Man arrested in carpark, 261 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes seized by S'pore Customs

261 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes and 10 computer casings were seized in the operation. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS
Officers uncovered 258 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the car. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE CUSTOMS

A 35-year-old man was arrested and 261 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes and 10 empty computer casings used to hide the contraband were seized by the Singapore Customs on Tuesday (Aug 23).

The total duty and goods and services tax evaded amounted to about $22,280 and $1,770 respectively, said the agency on Friday.

On Tuesday at a carpark near Ubi Road 3, Singapore Customs officers saw a man in a Singapore-registered car with brown boxes in its rear compartment. Officers moved in and uncovered 258 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes in the car.

A follow-up search of the man's home led to the seizure of another three cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes and 10 empty computer casings that were used to hide the cigarettes.

Investigations revealed that the man was allegedly engaged by an unknown person via a social messaging platform to take delivery of the computer casings at his residence, retrieve duty-unpaid cigarettes from the computer casings, and then pack and deliver those cigarettes to different locations in Singapore.

The man has been charged with the storing and delivering of uncustomed goods. His next court hearing will be on Sept 20.

Offenders can be fined up to 40 times the amount of duty and GST evaded and/or jailed for up to six years.

In February, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said a total of 27,000 contraband cases were detected in 2021, compared with 41,000 in 2020.

ICA noted how in some of these cases, offenders used sophisticated methods to hide contraband cigarettes, including concealing them in air-conditioning units, rolling paper drums and ventilation fans.

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